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8 Under-the-Radar Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 11)

Jun 11, 2021

With the calendar officially flipped to June, fantasy baseball managers have a fairly good idea of the strengths and deficiencies of their roster.

Perhaps you’re short on steals due to injuries or draft neglect. Maybe those pitcher wins just aren’t coming (which is maybe a good reason for you to suggest bailing on Ws as a category next year). Or perhaps you have needs in several areas – and your current streaming tactics just aren’t working.

Don’t ignore those scarcely-owned options in any of your fantasy leagues. The competition might not be on top of these players, but you can be – and all it takes is one savvy under-the-radar pickup to sway your fortunes the rest of the year. Here are the eight players our experts recommend considering.

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Q1. What one hitter should fantasy managers look into picking up that is rostered in less than 20% of leagues?

Myles Straw (OF – HOU): 10% Rostered
“Admittedly, the options are slim at this range at the moment, but I’d add Myles Straw if I could. Straw’s OPS by month has been .547, .637, .784, with his strikeout rate declining each month. The stolen bases haven’t been there yet, with just seven total (five of which came in April), and he was caught on three of his four attempts in May. But he ranks in the 93rd percentile in sprint speed, and he’s still playing nearly every day because of his defense (he ranks in the 89th percentile in outs above average). There will never be power (his 0.6% barrel rate is comically low), but if you have that covered elsewhere, he’s worth adding and playing in your lineup.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Niko Goodrum (OF – DET): 12% Rostered
“Niko Goodrum is batting .205 with an xBA below .200 and a K% above 37% for the second straight season. Yet, he has become the regular shortstop in Detroit and when he does reach base, he has the green light. Goodrum is up to 11 stolen bases with three since June began. There aren’t any five-category contributors sitting around on the waiver wire so the best course of action is to find a player who can provide a boost in a specific area. Steals are becoming harder to find each year, so prioritizing a free agent like Goodrum who can gather steals along with modest pop is more advisable than taking a chance on the prospect du jour.”
Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

Willy Adames (SS – MIL): 19% Rostered
“Willy Adames (19% rostered) has found his stroke in Milwaukee. Since the trade, Adames is slashing .308/.384/.508 over his last 18 games. The Brewers desperately need more offense, especially since Travis Shaw is headed to the shelf for a while. Adames could find himself moving up the order and that could also boost his fantasy appeal.”
Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Trevor Larnach (OF – MIN): 4% Rostered
“Twins rookie outfielder Trevor Larnach is off to a good-not-great start to his big league career. The 24-year-old is batting .262/.392/.429 with three homers through 102 plate appearances entering Friday. He has shown an elite ability to get on base, but the under-the-surface Statcast numbers suggest that some better days are ahead for his batted-ball outcomes. Larnach’s .459 xwOBAcon would rank 24th among all hitters if he had the PAs to qualify. He currently has a .366 wOBA and a .371 xwOBA. The .463 xSLG shows reasons for optimism as well. Larnach is one hot streak away from being a household fantasy name.”
Brendan Tuma (FantasyPros)

Q2. What one starting pitcher should fantasy managers look into picking up that is rostered in less than 20% of leagues?

Ross Stripling (TOR): 7% Rostered
“I’m going to continue to be the only passenger on the Ross Stripling train, but I’m fine with that. Stripling’s numbers look ugly so far and they were abysmal last year, but don’t forget he had a 3.44 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 212.2 innings from 2018-2019. After a really rough beginning, he has looked much better of late (two runs allowed over his last 17 innings with excellent control). He’s got to get the home runs under control and has a tough matchup upcoming with the Red Sox, but he’s worth a look beginning next week.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Tucker Davidson (ATL): 8% Rostered
“Tucker Davidson has made back-to-back scoreless starts, allowing five hits over the past 11 2/3 innings. The Braves are once again hurting for consistency among their SP, so another strong outing could cement his spot in the rotation. Davidson is mostly a two-pitch pitcher relying on his fastball-slider combo. He induces a high whiff rate with the slide piece but will need to get away with an average four-seamer to maintain success. Davidson is worth streaming in favorable matchups against RHH-heavy lineups.”
Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

Jake Odorizzi (HOU): 12% Rostered
“Jake Odorizzi has been back for a few starts with Houston. Although he comes with injury risk, he also has the upside of pitching for a strong Astros team that hits and fields well. He managed a 5 inning win vs. the Red Sox last week and could rack up a few more W’s even with mediocre performances. That’s useful in 5×5 formats.”
Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Nate Pearson (TOR): 15% Rostered
“It’s very tough to find a pitcher rostered in under 20% of leagues who’s worth speculating on, so I’ll go with one of the Blue Jays’ top prospects in Nate Pearson. We’ve already seen the 24-year-old make six appearances in the majors dating back to last summer, and the results haven’t been pretty. In fact, even his Triple-A game logs aren’t all that special this year. However, he still possesses one of the most electric arsenals in minor league baseball, and his most recent outing (five scoreless innings with six strikeouts) was a major step in the right direction. We’ve seen this year how development for young arms isn’t always linear (think Casey Mize or Tarik Skubal), so we certainly shouldn’t be writing off Pearson as a bet-on-talent upside play.”
Brendan Tuma (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for naming their under-the-radar waiver wire pickups. Make sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice all season and check out our Leading Off Podcast every single day for quick-hitting takeaways and advice.

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